Tag Team Review: The Highlander (The Order #2) by Kasia Bacon

I, Lochan of the famed Féyes clan, know all about fighting.

As a half-breed Elf, I have struggled against prejudice and feelings of inadequacy.

A recluse by nature, I have battled my aversion to touch and interaction with others.

To become an assassin of The Order, I have learnt to overcome the limitations of my mind and body.

But denying the power Ervyn Morryés holds over me might be the one fight I lose. The truth is—damn it all—the relentless Highlander brings me to my knees.

Note: This novelette is the second in the Order Series, and not a stand-alone installment. Reading THE MUTT is crucial for its full enjoyment.

4.75 Hearts Average!

Sara - 5 Hearts

I fell in love with Lochan of the famed Féyes clan as I met him through the eyes of Dark Elf Ervyn Morryés in The Mutt. But in this, in this instalment from his own voice and being in his head, I am lost in all that is Lochan.

I wasn’t sure where this story would take me, if it would be a retelling of The Mutt from Lochan’s POV or something new and thankfully we get something new.

The Highlander takes place four months after the end of The Mutt with Ervyn and Lochan together as much as they can as they prepare for their service in the elite unit of the Queen’s Army. Lochan is basically an introvert and most of this book – his book – is cerebral and I dug it hard. Lochan has never been one to openly socialize outside of training or let anyone near enough let alone touch him but Ervyn has broken down all his walls and shown him more than he could have hoped for.

I loved how sweet the beginning of this book was. We get Lochan as he is struggling with his insomnia and missing the only thing that allows him to sleep through the night, Ervyn. Ugh. I mean, talk about making me swoon first and fast in the story when I wasn’t quite expecting it. I was ready for the feelings that the first book gave me but Lochan is a man of few words with strong emotions and being in his head was amazing.

At times, he felt, smelt and tasted like my fate. At others—my biggest mistake. I remained indecisive about whether I loved or despised that he reached for me as though he had the right, and that I complied with fervour.

I loved Ervyn as Lochan sees him and I am a sucker for endearments so when Lochan finally gets the meaning of Mu’hrōnye, I turned into a big puddle of goo.

But for all the swooning and new editions of hurt/comfort we get in this book, we get a level of angst as Lochan prepares for his future away from Evryn. The last line of The Mutt blew me away and I kinda forgot that Lochan wasn’t hip to the change in career Evryn had made to be with him and seeing Lochan fret about his feelings was heartbreaking. Lochan wants a life with Evryn but decides to distance himself from his Dark Elf so he doesn’t hurt more than he is already but these two, they are fated and thank goodness this ended how it did.

The Highlander was amazing, these two are stunning and I cannot wait to get further into the series. Kasia Bacon has created a beautifully intriguing world of The Order that has sucked me for one hell of a ride and I am strapped in and ready to go.

SheReadsALot - 4.5 Hearts

Whatever pathetic, alarming anticipation had awoken in me, Ervyn Morryés was the only one to quench it.
And even if it couldn't go anywhere, it'd become apparent that, simply, no one else would do.

After reading The Highlander (The Order #2) by Kasia Bacon, I stared in the air for a minute or two. For a short story, there was insight and emotion all through out the short story and I felt it.

Oh did I feel it.

I'll try my best to get my thoughts out, they're all jumbled still.

It is best to read The Mutt first and continue this series in order to get the maximum effect. In The Mutt, the story from the POV of Highlander elf archer, Ervyn. He is fascinated with half breed (elf/human) Lochan. They're training to be assassins in Queen's army. He claims his loner Mutt, much to Lochan's chargin.

And in The Highlander, the story is four months later and Lochan's POV this time around. The two assassins in training are a couple? I put a question because Ervyn was steadfast in his feelings for Lochan from The Mutt and they never faltered. Lochan on the other hand, he's a loner and socially awkward, introverted and not used to...feelings.

Ervyn is so confident and Lochan is woefully not, that it takes time for him to realize that Ervyn isn't a one-off. That the need that aches inside for the other man means something. And he does this while training to join the elite assassin section of the Elf army. He has so much to prove since his kind is looked down on and Ervyn makes him want, makes him crave.

Why Ervyn?
Because the first time he forced a kiss on a me, I came alive? Because he laughed at the things I said? Touched me with such greed, as if he could never get enough? Looked at me rapt with wonder when I trembled in his arms, lost somewhere between ecstasy and sheer horror at the strength of the longing he inspired in me?
The story is jam packed with emotions. Being inside the snarky, quiet mind of Lochan is a great read. We get to learn more of Lochan's background and his harder upbringing. We get to learn more about the world the author crated (thank you for creating the glossary- it helped LOTS)

The quiet ones always get me every time. The lengths you can go when given a character like Lochan in the right hands can be magical.
"You're in love with him."
No. Yes. Am I? Mighty gods and fuck.
I nodded. That admission surprised, depressed and exhilarated me all at once.

I'm not going to complain much about the length. The writing continues to be tight, no typos, shows a lot without telling. Though it is a brief slice into what I hope will be a full story, the writing conveys important moments: the moment when you realize you're in love, when you have to change from 'just me' to a 'we'. That's my jam. There is some action as well at the elf camp and a little hiccup presented for the new lovers, but nothing too crazy.

The Highlander is also a little sexier this time around.

"I keep dreaming about your lips," he whispered.
"You'll be spending a long time on your knees tonight."
The smut lover in me continues to hope there will be a wonderful scene where the possessiveness and handsi-ness will get to fully run its course. Those two will melt bedsheets I tell ya! A little more erotic in detail *coughs*frottage score*coughs* than the last book.

I'm waffling on how to rate this, it's between 4 -5 Hearts. In a way it is stronger than The Mutt, but I think it is due to the reader getting to delve a little deeper in the arc of what I hope is something epic. The story seemed to be laying a foundation of something to come. I just wonder what it is. I was hoping a little for possible second chance romance in the future from where I thought the author was going. Also, that hiccup I mentioned? It was resolved very quickly. I don't know if groveling is necessary, but something about the way it was brushed aside and not mention again by the end is the only thing that sticks in my craw.

Overall, a great follow up. I'm a fan of this world and glad to see the consistency from The Mutt continued. And now that we're deeper into the Order world this author created, the book covers take a whole new light.

Recommended for fantasy lovers

Don't miss The Highlander giveaway HERE !